Massive group of volunteers searches for clues in Jayme Closs disappearance

It covers 2 square miles near the Barron, Wis., home

Sloane Martin
October 23, 2018 - 11:16 am

A massive group of volunteers are out in Western Wisconsin Tuesday searching for clues in the disappearance of 13-year-old Jayme Closs.

Law enforcement officials called for 2,000 people to come to the staging area north of Barron Tuesday morning for the day-long effort. They got at least that many, causing backups on Highway 25 as they moved in before the sun came up. The search area is about 10 miles northeast of the Closses' home and two square miles total.

"We're looking for cellphones, guns, clothes, personal items," organizer Jeff Harris said. "Something that looks out of the ordinary."

Brad Quall works in law enforcement in Chippewa Falls and took the day off to help in the search.

"We've seen a lot of stuff over the last few years. It's sad, but what are you going to do?" Quall said. "We're hoping that we just put some closure. We're hoping that we find her alive, but chances are, being that the time has been so far along, it ain't looking good."

Some came from the Twin Cities metro area to lend a hand.

"Feeling like, wow -- it's great to have so many people here," volunteer Scott Hall said. "It's a massive job when you think of the big country, even with 2,000 people I think it's probably hard to find someone or something."

In the town of over 4,000, there was no second-guessing coming out to join the search.

Community together. They stick together, that's for sure," Barbara Cedar said. "It's not like in a big town where nobody knows nobody. Everybody knows everybody here. They're really sticking together."

Authorities revealed Monday they're looking for two cars in connection to Jayme's disappearance. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says the vehicles that may have been traveling near the Closs family's home the night of the shooting. 

"The first vehicle is likely a 2008 to 2014 Dodge Challenger, red or orange in color" he said. "The second vehicle is likely either 2006 to 2010 Ford Edge black, or a 2004 to 2010 Acura MDX, black in color."
Deputies responding to a 911 call early on the morning of Oct. 15 discovered that someone had broken into the family's home near Barron and gunned down Denise and James Closs. Police arrived at the home four minutes after a 911 call that came from Denise Closs's phone, and they believe Jayme was abducted. They also believe the girl is not a suspect in the shootings.